A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket,” in other words, die. But how often do you sit and think about dying? Not to sound morbid, but for most of us, the thought of our own death is far away. Because of this, there is no sense of urgency to accomplish the things on a bucket list. So it just becomes a “someday” list of things you’ll do at some point in the future. So what are your bucket list? Well, aside from writing the best man speech for my friend;s wedding, I have a lot fo bucket list for travels.
Instead, go through your bucket list and start putting dates next to the items. Create urgency. Make an actual plan to achieve these goals. Don’t wait until “the perfect time” to cross things off. There will never be a perfect time, and the urgency of daily life will keep getting in the way of these “someday” items. Most bucket list items look something like this: write a book, run a marathon, learn a new language, go backpacking through Europe, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, etc. However, like any goal you want to achieve, it’s not so simple to just write a book or run a marathon and then check it off your list. It takes a great deal of planning and preparation. It also takes commitment to a timeline, and it takes weeks and maybe even months of consistent action to accomplish. So if you really want to check off these items, then you need to deal with them in a more realistic, practical way. Break each item down into a plan you can actually do, and then create real, actionable steps to accomplish each goal. Otherwise, the bucket list is just a bunch of dreams that are too big and overwhelming to actually achieve. Don’t let your bucket list remain undone; make it work for you. For example, maybe you want to go backpacking through Europe. That’s fine if your vacation is several weeks long, but most likely you’ll have one or two weeks to work with. So it might be tempting to think that you can’t do it at all. However, don’t give up just yet on that dream to backpack through Europe. Just break it into parts. Do Italy this time, or pick a region like the Balkans, and do it bit by bit. There’s no rule that says you have to cross off each item all at once… and on your death bed, will you be happier that you visited only one or two countries in Europe, or none at all?
WHAT TRAVEL IS ALL ABOUT
So why do you travel?
Do you travel for luxury?
Do you collect instant “pogi” points when you brag about your recent adventure?
Do you want healing?
Do you want to flaunt your OOTD with heritage sites on your background?
Do you want to overcome your fears? Challenge yourself?
Do you want to meet new friends?
Or meet silence?
The reasons are many but the great question is, are you traveling for the right reason?
While most travelers are on the way to finish their ‘epic journey’, some still get stuck in the planning and worse, get discouraged by the idea that travel is for the ‘rich and famous’… They are misled. It is LUXURY TRAVEL that is for the rich and famous. If you take out luxury in travel, it’s still travel but only different. And traveling differently doesn’t make your travel any less valuable. So if you doubt you can have inexpensive but enriching travel, think again.
You’ve read tons of articles about why you should travel, why it’s good for you, why you should do it now and some even encourage you to quit your day job and backpack the world. Yes. It sounds inviting. And I’m in no way stopping you. But hold that thought for a moment and fairly ask yourself, “Am I prepared enough?”
WHAT TRAVEL WANTS FROM YOU
Let’s say you have the right reasons to travel and you are ready. Another important thought to consider is what travel REALLY wants from you.
- Travel wants your awareness
Travel offers you a place to meet a diversity of people with a diversity of culture. It wants you to be aware of these differences and develop a more accepting attitude. With your awareness you can eliminate prejudices and stereotypes that hinder genuine social connection.
Also, travel showcases the unparalleled beauty of our world. Travel wants you to be aware of this. To make it a driving force to seek more adventure, to look forward to another day, to never lose interest.
- Travel wants your desire for meaning
If you desire for the superficial, you would be content to just visit a place, take pictures and afterwards leave. But if you desire for meaning, you can be motivated to interact with the local people—observe them, learn about their ways and their useful qualities as well as share your own learning.
If you desire for meaning, you can turn your travel into a life-changing experience and provide a positive impact to the world.
The historian Mary Ritter Beard puts it more beautifully: “Indeed, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”